by Donald Mehl
I am saddened over the knowledge that many of my family members, and most of our friends, have been deceived and are being held hostage by an unbiblical "faith plus works" religious system. They base their eternal destiny solely on that which their church dictates...not on what the Bible teaches. That religion maintains its hold and mind control over people largely by instilling unbiblical fear within them.
Scripture teaches that our eternal salvation is a free gift given by faith alone in Jesus Christ...by believing and accepting His sacrifice and finished work on the cross as full payment for our lost condition. It is only through the shed blood of Christ that redemption can happen. Salvation is promised to us when, under Holy Spirit led conviction, a person humbly reaches out to Him in repentant faith and declares Jesus as Lord. That salvation, or "born again" moment, happens in an instant...it happens only once in life...and can never be revoked, for the Holy Spirit becomes forever sealed within the new believer.
Biblical Christianity is not an organized religious system, but rather, is a daily personal relationship with our Lord Jesus a concept that is foreign to their religious system.
The "other religion" teaches that salvation is a multi-step process of church mandated purifying works and rituals performed throughout life and beyond...all in a vain attempt to make one acceptable or worthy in the eyes of God. Their unbiblical process begins with a required infant baptism, and ends after death in a fictional place where the final purification step is carried out.
In this life, they can never have any assurance of salvation because they do not believe that Jesus paid the full price by His sacrifice on the cross as He has said. Instead, they have declared themselves above God by negating His Words, and are teaching a different pathway to heaven...a pathway of believing He exists, plus, a life-long system of works and rituals deemed necessary by mortal men for salvation. Their system also includes embracing extra-biblical teachings, fruitless prayers to mere dead men, and the vain worship of graven images and idols...all of which are forbidden in Scripture. They attempt to exhibit a form of godliness, but deny its power.
When presented with gospel Truth identifying the fallacies of their unbiblical religious system, many of those ensnared in the "faith plus works" religion become defensive, and vehemently deny that their life-long teachings from "learned scholars" could be wrong. However, their denial is solely based on the doctrines formulated and promoted by hierarchy of an organization that demands total allegiance under threats of eternal damnation. Their denial is most certainly not based on any personal, independent study of sound Scripture Truth. Instead, controlled study guides are used that have been carefully prepared through the lens of their church's tradition and theology. The organization promotes religiousness...not a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Their man-made church traditions have trumped the God inspired Scriptures. The true gospel message of salvation by faith alone cannot be found within their religious system. Those within their system who have seen the Light, and there are many, have done so only after being exposed to, and convicted by, the true gospel message from sources outside their system. Then, if their new-found faith is genuine with true repentance and sincerity of heart, the Holy Spirit will urge them to leave their church...which they must do.
The "faith plus works" religion is simply a man-created, ungodly mix of demonic inspired paganism, plus, a twisted version of biblical Christianity. Therefore, at worst it is a cult, and at best it teaches a false gospel...deceiving millions who will have no hope of salvation within their religious system.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Titus 3:5 NASB
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
Isaiah 64:6a NKJV
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
Matthew 6:7 NKJV
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Exodus 20:4-5a NKJV
You shall not make for yourself a carved imageany likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
The Bible clearly states that all who would confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, will be saved. There are no religious formulas or rituals for salvation. Just call upon the Name of the Lord with repentant faith and trust! Give your honor and glory only to Him...our risen Lord, who is no longer suffering on that cross, but rather, was victorious over death and the grave. Jesus alone is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life...the only One who has made it possible that we, too, might live. Reach out by faith alone to receive His salvation and your new life in Him. Choose to follow Him today!
Romans 10:9-10 NIV
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
Article Source: FaithWriters.com http://www.faithwriters.com and FaithReaders.com http://www.faithreaders.com